MONDAY 12/04/17

FEDERAL:

Stop the Tax Scam

The Senate passed its heartless tax bill. At 1:49 AM on a Saturday. After doing endless revisions, including a handwritten amendment that nobody could read. After rejecting all Democratic amendments. The process was wretched. The contents of the bill are even worse. I’m doing everything I can to refrain from unleashing a tsunami of profanity right now. But we know that the bill is enormously unpopular. We also know that the Senate and House versions are so different that reconciling the two bills won’t be easy. With that in mind, I’m going to recommend two major actions:

1) First, call your reps. Fax your reps. Don’t let up on that, even if you know your rep supports the bill. They need to know we’re outraged.

2) Second, write your local newspapers. Letters to the editor to local newspapers, especially to small-town papers, carry a lot of weight. We need to make the case in public that the bill is awful. There are so many people out there who are outraged by this bill but may feel alone. Let’s make our Resistance as visible as possible.

Script:

Hello, I am a constituent calling from ______________ to tell Sen./Rep. ____________________ not to support the tax bill currently under reconciliation. The Senate version of the bill takes health care away from millions of Americans, and it will raise premiums by up to ten percent. It will dramatically increase the deficit, making it more difficult to pay for programs such as Medicare and Social Security. The House bill also increases the deficit and takes away important deductions, including the deduction on student loan interest. These bills also remove many of the deductions that small business owners depend on. These tax bills cannot be fixed, and Sen./Rep. _____________ needs to reject them. Thank you for taking my call.

MoveOn is endorsing the idea of calling all vulnerable Senators and Members of Congress, so feel free to call some of the usual suspects--Collins, McCain, Murkowski, Flake, and Corker among others--and pressure them to oppose the reconciled bill.

Full Senate contacts:

https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Thom Tillis:

DC: (202) 224-6342

Charlotte: 704-509-9087

Greenville: (252) 329-0371

Hendersonville: (828) 693-8750

High Point: (336) 885-0685

Raleigh: (919) 856-4630

Richard Burr

DC: (202) 224-3154

Winston-Salem: (800) 685-8916

Rocky Mount: (252) 977-9522

Wilmington: (888) 848-1833, (336) 631-5125

Asheville: (828) 350-2437

House:

https://www.house.gov/representatives/

Letters to the Editor:

Letters to the editor obviously need to be personalized, so I’m going to include a few tips instead:

1) Most letters should be 200 words or less. Even a short letter (50-100 words) can convey a strong argument.

2) Try to make it personal. If you know that the tax bill will affect your health care or your ability to attend college, talk about that. If it’s an issue affecting your community, emphasize that.

3) Note that most people making $75,000 a year or less will end up paying more in taxes over the next ten years.

Point out that the estate tax will not affect most family farms. Only the top one percent ever pay the estate tax.

4) Taking away the student loan interest deduction and the health care mandate actually penalize our aspirational culture. If you can’t afford college or to change jobs, how can you aspire to a better career?

5) Be creative! Be bold! The more bad publicity we can bring to this bill, the more likely we are to stop it from being passed.

Keep working on Net Neutrality:

We have until December 14 to push back against the proposed Net Neutrality rules. This is a massive free speech battle. The FCC has outlined their plans for revoking net neutrality rules, and these plans are as bad as we all predicted. Removing net neutrality rules would allow Internet providers to give preferential treatment to some content providers by slowing down (or throttling) internet speeds. They could create a “fast lane” for people who are willing to pay more or force competitors like Netflix to pay exorbitant rates to deliver content. It is a threat to a free and open Internet. The link to comment is below. Once you click the link, click the “+ New Filing” button and add your comment. Contacting the FCC on their public page is vital because it creates a public record of your comments, an important consideration given that thousands of fake comments supporting net neutrality were posted, possibly by Russian agents. Note: Here is a sample comment, but please try to write the comment in your own words, as there is a concerted effort to discredit our side by tracking down identical comments.

Sample comment:

I urge the FCC maintain the current net neutrality policy. The internet should be treated as a Public Utility. The Public's access to the Information Highway must not be restricted and put in the hands of corporations. Allowing these corporations to give preferential treatment to some content will not serve the public interest. I am disappointed that the FCC is acting against its original purpose, which was to protect the needs and interests of the public.

Contact:
https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express

In "Proceeding(s)" type: 17-108